Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holt

A few months ago, when Kim Hargreaves came out with her first fall book, Smoulder, there were two items I felt I had to have.  One was the faux-leopard coat her model wears in a few of the shots.   The other was the Holt coat, knit in Rowan Big Wool.

Big Wool is not one of my favorite yarns to knit with.  I'm used to knitting with fine yarns on small needles, so knitting with this super bulky yarn on massive needles is quite straining to my hands, wrists and elbows.  Thus, I have to be over the moon about something done in this yarn to actually knit it up, and I am about this coat.


This design is classic Kim:  deep raglans, collar, wide turned-back sleeves, and two different types of moss stitch.  Perfection.  I chose to knit up my coat in the same color as was shown in the book:  Smoky.  It's a super deep, almost black, midnight blue.  The photos of me wearing the coat are closer to the true color than the one above.  Of course, you can't really see any details in those!  So I included  a couple of the photos that were overexposed.


The cuff turn-back is stitched to the sleeve at the sleeve seam to help it stay in place.  I used a long-tail cast-on throughout the sweater, being careful to keep it loose so that the cuff wouldn't pull in on the sleeve in an unattractive way.

I'm not 100% in love with these buttons, and may change them in the future.  They'll do for now though, and they were the best option I was able to find.


I tend to fall between the first and second sizes on Kim's patterns, so I chose the second size (34" bust) to ensure that my coat wasn't too tight.  Because I knit loosely, I got gauge with a size US11 needle rather than US 13.  Of the 12 balls of Big Wool called for, I only used 10.

It took me a while after finishing the pieces to decide how I wanted to block them.  The instructions recommend pressing with a damp press cloth, but I was leery of flattening the pattern too much with that method.  However, this fabric is so thick that my normal steaming doesn't have much effect.  I finally knit up a swatch and tried both methods to see which I liked better, and went with the damp press cloth, pressing ever so lightly on the body of the pieces and just a little more on the edges where I'd be seaming.  Big Wool is both too bulky and too soft for seaming, so I used some black Cascade 220.


As you can see, these are yet more photos from Monday's big photo shoot!  Against these black pants you can see how dark this blue is.  I think it's lovely.



And there are the sequins peeking out!

Here are the overexposed photos:

Posing like a model from the 1960s.



The nice shape at the shoulder is thanks to a faster decrease rate in the raglan there.  Little details like that are one reason why Kim is my favorite knitwear designer.


Now . . . I've got to figure out how I can get or make a faux leopard coat!

32 comments:

  1. This is really lovely Gail. You know I love Kim Hargreaves designs, it's her little details that make things so special. I don't have Smoulder yet - it might have to go on my Christmas list.

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    1. Thank you, Sam. Of Kim's two books this fall, Smoulder is my favorite. I just started another design from the book yesterday, and have had a third on needles for a while!

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  2. Ooh, I really like this! I wasn't sure about it from the flat photos, but it looks awesome on you! I'm loving you in these sort of early-60's-inspired shapes!

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    1. Thanks, Sonja! I agree it looks kind of big and lumpy spread flat, but I just couldn't get the details to show when I had it on!

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  3. Beautiful! I love everything about this, the shape, the color, everything! It looks so cozy.

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    1. Thank you, Kelly! I'm so pleased with how it came out!

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  4. Cool! I've never knit a whole coat! Yours is very elegant and beautiful, the shape fits you.

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    1. Thank you, Carmela! "Coat" might be stretching it a bit, but it can be worn as a coat in not-so-cold weather.

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  5. Actually when seeing the coat by itself I was not convinced, but seeing you wearing it: It looks amazing. And your long gloves go perfect with it!

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    1. Thanks, Daniela! I'm hoping to have a new dress to go with it soon too!

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  6. You know I love this one. Maybe I should also start paying some closer attention to Kim Hargreaves as I have never bought one of her books. As for the coat, have you checked all the usual online fabric haunts?

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    1. I'm a Kim fangirl from WAY back :-) When she worked for Rowan, my favorite designs were always designed by her.

      I have checked all the places I can think of for leopard fabric. I was even willing to pay top dollar, but I can't find just the right color. The hunt will continue though!

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  7. Love this one a little more every time I come across a picture! You really suit these 60's style shapes! And You're channeling a little Twiggy here with the poses! Fun! Anyway, I'll be keeping my eye out for Kim Hargreaves book as I am officially sold on her patterns.

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    1. Thank you, Sara! Yes, I was going for a Twiggy-esque pose, although I'm the Anti-Twiggy, LOL! Maybe I should make this my schtick, since I'm so lame at posing otherwise . . .

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  8. Oh I really want to knit a big warm cardy/coat like this one! It looks so cosy! You're a machine! And I didn't comment on your sequin top but that's fabulous too :)

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    1. Thanks, Jo! Not really - this one took me a month and a bit, because I couldn't work on it for any long stretches of time. For such big yarn, it should have been much faster!

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  9. Gail, this is delicious. I can't even come up with a better term. I really am quite hungry for a yummy knit outer garment like yours. Gorgeous!

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  10. Oh wow! I don't usually gravitate towards knit coats, but this one is super tempting!

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    1. Thank you, Meg! I hope it holds up - that's a lot of heavy fabric!

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  11. oh it's beautiful! looks so cozy. :)

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  12. Lovely! The whole blocking thing gets confusing. I just purchased a pattern for Louisa Harding yarn Amitola and the blocking recommendations in the pattern are to simply press. No mention of steam or damp cloth. What's a girl to do?

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    1. Thanks, Jillian!

      Hmmm, that sounds a little suspicious to me, unless it's an acrylic yarn. If it's natural fibers I would definitely add in some sort of moisture, and I find steam to be the easiest and most forgiving. If I were you, I'd knit a swatch or two and try some different blocking methods - you don't want to test it out for the first time on your FO if you're not sure!

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  13. Gorgeous times TEN! I love it! But have to agree with you about Big Wool, it's love hate: it knits up so fast but the big needles, ugg, I dread even holding them let alone knitting with them.

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    1. Thank you, Kristen! Now I've gone to the other extreme: started a new sweater with Angora Haze, and I'm having to do the rib on size 1 needles!

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  14. WONDERFUL sweater jacket! The scale and shape of this is really cool. I adore Kim Hargreaves' patterns, but I wish she would sell them individually on Ravelry.

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    1. Thank you, Michelle! A lot of people have requested individual patterns from Kim, but she has so far not been willing to go that direction. That said, I love buying her books because I love her styling of the garments - better than a fashion magazine!

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  15. Cute coat. It's great how bulky yarn knits up fast but it can be awkward and a strain on wrists and hands.

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    1. Thanks, Stef! Yes, this thing is HEAVY! It's a lot to hold on to!

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  16. What a gorgeous garment. I love it!

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    1. Thanks, Kristin! Definitely a recommended pattern!

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